Today was another library day. I tuck myself back in the Georgia room and dig into my family history. As I’m researching and writing I’m usually texting Mom with some questions or sharing some information.

It’s funny how history has become such a contentious topic these days. I completely disagree with people like DeSantis who is censoring what can be taught in Florida and while my sons attended school in Florida years ago, I would NOT want them educated there these days.

Mom is from North Carolina and her family has lived there for many years so it’s not surprising that my 3x great grandfather fought for the confederacy in the civil war.

Josiah’s father-in-law (my 4x great grandfather) also served and it appears they enlisted at the same time.

I have no way of knowing why they fought and I have no way of knowing what beliefs they held but I personally struggle with the south’s history of racism and how prevalent it remains throughout our country to this day.


  1. I am a mix of North and South, and I am proud of both. I would not be me, and my children would not be themselves, if it weren’t for all that came before and all that they were. Slavery and racism were only part of the story.

    • I’m not suggesting that slavery and racism is all there is to the South I was specifically talking about my great grandfathers who served in the confederate army during the civil war and my feelings about the racism that still exists today throughout our country.

  2. I’m with you on this topic. Florida and South Dakota are both playing that “white wash history” game with schools. History isn’t always pleasant, but hopefully we learn from it. I’m sure we all have ancestors who were on different sides of a conflict than we would want. I remember asking my host mother in Germany (when I was a HS exchange student) why people in her home town didn’t stop the things happening in the concentration camp nearby. She was a teenager during WWII. She said it was fear – because people who asked questions disappeared.

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful insights. Many of us, probably most of us, have some skeletons in our closets but we need to open the doors and let some light in.

  4. Mary, I really don’t think they had a choice. At that time, you made a living growing cotton. Cotton was king. Without the slaves, growing cotton was impossible – and there were no other options to make a living and feed the family. So they convinced themselves it was right. But I wish they would finish up with that way of thinking about things now !

    • No other options than slaves? And I’m gonna stop right there so Mary doesn’t have to delete my rant on that statement.

  5. I think white washing history is happening all over the world – here in Australia, we have plenty of people who refuse to believe or acknowledge that Indigenous people were literally murdered for land! This was not taught in schools while I was growing up, but my generation is publicising that knowledge as much as possible. We hope an Indigenous Voice to Parliament will enshrined in the constitution via referendum later this year – if we can get a majority of voters in a majority of states to agree.

  6. We can’t help what our ancestors did. I find myself afraid to put a bumper sticker on my vehicle because of how divided we are, and my discomfort of upsetting neighbors and strangers. Unfortunately, racism and biases are alive and well today all across this country. But, we can do our best to confront and display our real values and beliefs daily, I believe.

  7. I’m glad you’ve been able to find information for your family. This is what firmly connects us to the reality of our lives in this country and the world over time. My aunt and fraternal grandmother recorded my grandmother’s family history and I am impressed with my grandmother’s ability to remember all that she could, and to tell it as a story while connecting people and places through time was a gift to us. I have a copy of this recording of my grandmother along with photos and documentation of her side of the family history’s and my grandfather’s side as it continues on after they were married and lived their lives together. My grandmother died with Alzheimer’s disease at 80.

  8. I come from a very large extended family of uncles, aunties and cousins with marriages overlapping families and confusing our tree branches. Our family came from an area where numerous families inter-married within the same geographical area, again confusing the branches – brother and sister from one family marrying brother and sister from another family. Families were very large in those past years, my dad one of 13 children and my mum one of 9 children, and there are literally hundreds of us with direct bloodlines. About 20 years ago one of my cousins did the family tree on my dad’s side of the family. The book that resulted from the many many hours of discussions and research with family of all stripes is a treasure trove of information and connections and is a critical part of our family history – the good, the bad and the ugly all recorded. The most treasured I have found is especially from our men who are often loathe to say anything, but in our book their words are recorded. It is the most amazing gift, especially the words of my dad about his mum. I never would have had those words if the book was not put together for us.

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